chapter  19
Psycholinguistic Approaches to Humor
ByBelem G. López, Jyotsna Vaid
Pages 15

This chapter considers how the logic of humor has been-or could be-explored from the lens of psycholinguistics and how the range of psycholinguistic research methods can be enlisted to study humor. It turns next to an overview of research methods used in psycholinguistics as applied to humor study, distinguishing between approaches used with infants or young children and those used with adults. Psycholinguistics is a branch of cognitive psychology concerned with how human language is acquired, processed, planned, and represented in the mind and brain. Aside from its cognitive core, two additional aspects are critical to humor and are, therefore, important to address in any comprehensive psycholinguistic account: humor's aesthetic and social aspects. Verbal humor is not only a form of compressed thought or interactive, creative cognition, but it also has a literary quality, and makes use of a range of devices in a way that is poetic, memorable, and pleasing.